Amphibians and Reptiles of Minnesota

A Complete On-line Field Guide to Minnesota's Amphibians and Reptiles

Green Frog - Lithobates clamitans PDF Print E-mail
Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs of Minnesota - Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs of Minnesota

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Green frog, Rana clamitans melanota, from Scott County, MN









Green frogs have no status in Minnesota.


The green frog is Minnesota's second largest species of frog (only the bullfrog is larger). They may measure 4 inches in body length. They are green or brown with no marking except perhaps some small black dots or dashes. Young green frogs may be heavily spotted. The upper lip is bright green. The underside is light with few gray or brown markings. Adult males usually have bright yellow throats. Males also have tympanums (circular eardrum behind eye) that are larger
than their eye.


None. The green frog, Rana clamitans melanota, was a subspecies of the bronze frog, Rana clamitans clamitans. This species was formerly placed in the genus Rana.


The green frog is found in all of Minnesota except the southwestern third.


Green frogs inhabit permanent bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, deep, permanent marshes, and other wetlands, such as streams and rivers.


Green frogs emerge in April, but they do not breed until May through July. The males's call has been described as a "plunk" or "gunk" sounding like a banjo. It is a single note given once per second four or five times in a row. The first "plunk" is the loudest, then they trail off. Males defend territories from other males. Females lay 3,000 to 4,000 eggs in a large mat. Tadpoles are green with small black dots and sometimes have yellow bellies. They transform their second year. Green frogs spend their time at the water's edge waiting for prey. Green frogs from central and southern Minnesota usually do not move overland unless there is a rain storm. Those from the north, however, may move overland in the summer in damp, heavily wooded areas with many small wetlands. When startled, they give off a warning call similar to the "meap!" of bullfrogs before leaping into the water.


Green frogs will eat anything that they can swallow; mostly insects, earthworms, and even fish.


A comparison between a green frog (left) and a bullfrog (right)


A green frog from Fillmore County, Minnesota


A green frog from Pine County, Minnesota


A green frog from Washington County, Minnesota


An amelanistic green frog from Ramsey County, Minnesota

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